The Catalpa Bow: A Study of Shamanistic Practices in Japan, 1st Edition (Paperback) book cover

The Catalpa Bow

A Study of Shamanistic Practices in Japan, 1st Edition

By Carmen Blacker


384 pages

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Paperback: 9781873410851
pub: 1999-09-15
eBook (VitalSource) : 9780203347133
pub: 2004-08-02
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This classic work describes shamanic figures surviving in Japan today, their initiatory dreams, ascetic practices, the supernatural beings with whom they communicate, and the geography of the other world in myth and legend.


'One of the absolute 'must read' books on Japanese religious practice. It is also essential reading for those interested in asceticism, shamanism and spirit possession in general.' - Ian Reader, Culture and Religion

'one suspects that the time may be not far off when it will come to be recognized as the best book on East Asian religion as a whole to emerge from Britain in the twentieth century.' - T. H. Barrett, Bulletin of SOAS

Table of Contents

1. The Bridge

2. The Sacred Beings

3. Witch Animals

4. The Other World

5. Ascesis

6. The Ancient Sibyl

7. The Living Goddess

8. The Blind Medium

9. The Ascetic’s Initiation

10. The Visionary Journey

11. The Symbolic Journey

12. The Ascetic’s Power

13. Village Oracles

14. Mountain Oracles

15. Exorcism

16. Conclusion

Subject Categories

BISAC Subject Codes/Headings:
SOCIAL SCIENCE / Ethnic Studies / General